Maui Girl

These stories from Donna Austin come from her rich Maui history and heritage.

21 August 2006

Sandwich Islands: Story Six

Everyone lightheartedly cleared the table and helped wash up quickly. Then they gathered again on the front porch. Unless it rained, this is where the family always gathered at the end of the day. Joe pulled out his harmonica while Manual got his guitar and Pãe got the ukulele tuned up. Mary, Flora and Lydia’s sweet voices harmonized as the rest of the family sang soprano from the mixture of Portuguese and Hawaiian songs they all knew. “I love a pretty Maui Girl, she lives in Waikapu…”

Later in the evening some friends came by as was the custom. This was the time for gossip and trade needed items. “
“Hello Johnny Freitas!” father called. “What do you have there?”

Johnny’s wife, Mary carried carrots and kale while John had a side of salt pork. “Could you spare some corn and a dozen eggs and a loaf of your delicious smelling bread? (pão)

Father smiled and said, “Of course! And we can always use the vegetables and salt pork too.: Turning to his son Joe he said, “Please run and pick a dozen ears of corn for our friends. Rose, would you wrap a loaf of bread in a clean towel for them? Mary, please gather some eggs.” Then father invited his friends to sit down and join the family on the porch.
Mary Freitas gave Julia the vegetables and followed her into the kitchen while the men stayed outside to talk. “I hear your son Manuel is going to marry the Pereira girl in June.”

“Yes! We are happy for him,” Answered Julia. “She is a good Portuguese girl.” Then Julia put the vegetables in the pantry cooler. “We’ll have a big party after the wedding at the Holy Ghost Church. Her parents are from Kula and are planning to invite half the island to the celebration. It is only two months away and Manuel will start working in Kulanui and living at Camp B in Punene the very next week.”

As the women went back to the front porch to join the men, they heard loud voices. Frank Dias from Hana, had just stopped by with big news!


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